Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.



658 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 14

Subscriber

Topic # 138498 7-Jan-2014 11:07 Send private message

My work desktop is a SFF Dell 755 with an E7300 @ 2.66, 4GB and 64bit Win8. I have 17GB free on an 80GB sata drive and the server holds everything else I need.

I run one Dell 23" LED and two Dell 22" LCD's (admittedly one is at a crap resolution because there are no drivers for the old graphics card) and I've been using it for over a year now. It cost me peanuts to buy and set up and it actually does everything I need it to do.

It's not blindingly fast but I'm wondering what my best bang for buck is. I'd like to have all three screens running at max but low-profile PCI cards are hard to come by (assuming I'm looking in the right places) so perhaps selling and buying an full size case is the answer.

I think this machine will go to 8GB ram but am I right in thinking an SSD should be my first choice ?

About 90% of my work is web based, websites, google apps, spotify runs the whole time and I can often have three Chrome windows open with maybe two dozen tabs between them.

I don't think I need the latest technology, but what options do people think I have for say $200 or less ? I'm a stingy bugger !

Cheers





X-Case Q-Box | Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H 780G with Onboard ATI HD3200 | AMD Phenom X4 9500 CPU | Corsair 2GB DDR2-800 x 2 | WD Caviar 1TB HDD x 2 | HVR-4000 with MCE Remote | Win 7 Home Premium | Mediaportal 1.4.0 | CoreAVC2.0 | Samsung UN32B6000 32" LED | Sony STR-K660P Receiver

Create new topic
654 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 20

Trusted

  Reply # 962367 7-Jan-2014 11:25

"admittedly one is at a crap resolution because there are no drivers for the old graphics card"

This seems like a problem that would easily be fixed. What is the graphics card?

365 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 60


  Reply # 962379 7-Jan-2014 11:54 Send private message

Personally, if you're not gaming then from the US I'd get a modern but low end low profile video card (around the *30 in the NVidia GT 500 or 600 ranges) and a 90-128 GB SSD. If you do have a couple of memory slots empty, any money left over can go into a couple of extra RAM DIMMs, but DDR2 is relatively pricey these days, so 2x1GB sticks might be the best to hope for there.

Get it all of the parts in one go and ship through YouShop... If you really want to save a few extra $$, and are prepared to take a risk, search Newegg's open box offerings for the GPU (although last time I tried they required a US credit card, so amazon might be it).

I recently swapped out my 570 for a 520 that my fiance sent over from the US. Note many of the low end 600 series GPUs are just rebadged 500 series cards. So some wikipedia research can come in handy :)

A new GPU might cause some issues running beside an older GPU (do you know what the old one is?). Being a Dell it is probably an NVidia GPU? I only once tried running an ATI GPU in the same rig as a NVidia GPU and it was terrible.

530 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 63

Subscriber

  Reply # 962398 7-Jan-2014 12:40 One person supports this post Send private message

I wouldn't upgrade anything without sorting out the graphics setup first.  I have SFF PCs at home and they're a pain to upgrade because the critical component is usually the graphics card and the critical limitation is the power supply. So more info on your graphics setup would be good.

You have a 275W power supply which is more than many SFF PCs but that will limit your options for a graphics card. They usually specify at least a 350W supply but you can get by with less although you will have to calculate your 12V requirement as your graphics card will be sharing it with the CPU, fans etc. I'm pretty sure that the 500 and 600 series cards specify at least a 400W PSU so you'd want to be sure that it will run. Also your PSU capacity reduces over time so you might calculate there is enough headroom but find either that the PC won't work with the new card or the PSU dies quite quickly.

I had a quick look on pricespy and you're likely to be spending about $50 in NZ for a new card: http://pricespy.co.nz/category.php?l=s154510264&o=produkt_pris_inkmoms#rparams=l=s154510438

DDR2 prices are relatively expensive but I'd prefer RAM over SSD as it reduces paging to disk and reduces the impact of sharing memory with the GMA graphics which I presume your are using. You'll be OK with 4GB but you will notice an improvement with 6GB. If you have free RAM slots then add some but otherwise the SSD has an advantage because it is easy to move to another PC whereas your RAM wouldn't be transferable if you ditched the PC.





253 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 19


  Reply # 962412 7-Jan-2014 13:02 Send private message

If you go for one of the radeons with multi monitor support then you'll be able to run it off one card without worry about power supply limitations, We've got a few pc's here running a single Sapphire 6450 Flex low profile card (we don't use the low profile adapters but they come in the box.) driving three screens all at 1080p.

6768 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 447

Trusted
Subscriber

  Reply # 962427 7-Jan-2014 13:50 One person supports this post Send private message

CPU, motherboard, and RAM. I wouldn't spend money on accessories for anything that old. A new i5 4xxx will kill it for speed.

I know that doesn't meet your requirements. An SSD will make it feel faster, and can move to your next PC. Samsung 840 128GB.




Asus eee pad transformer
iPod 2G
Windows 7 PC
Lots and lots of Nikon camera gear

7709 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 290

Trusted
Subscriber

  Reply # 962547 7-Jan-2014 16:08 Send private message

Looking at the spec (if this is the right link below) it looks like you could easily replace the hdd with a ssd and add a better PCI-E graphics card
http://www.dell.com/downloads/global/products/optix/en/opti_755_techspecs.pdf

Samsung 840 Evo SSD 120GB ~$150
http://pricespy.co.nz/product.php?p=2074412

Geforce or Radeon PCI-E Graphics Card ~$50
http://pricespy.co.nz/category.php?o=produkt_pris_inkmoms&m=350#rparams=m=s154515713

* Note: Be careful to choose a card with ouputs to match what's available on your monitors (dvi, vga, hdmi, display port). Might need to pay a bit more for a card with 2x DVI if you want to avoid using VGA and/or one of your screens doesn't have HDMI or display port.




xpd

GTA5 Nut
6254 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 273

Mod Emeritus
Trusted
Subscriber

  Reply # 962631 7-Jan-2014 18:46 Send private message

timmmay: CPU, motherboard, and RAM. I wouldn't spend money on accessories for anything that old. A new i5 4xxx will kill it for speed.

I know that doesn't meet your requirements. An SSD will make it feel faster, and can move to your next PC. Samsung 840 128GB.


Agree with this...  dont buy anything you cant make use of in a newer PC.

Im on a similar specced system as you but in a decent case, but I wont be spending any money (cost me almost nothing to get to start with) - my next upgrade will be something along the lines of an AMD A10 system, cheap, modern, and will do more than what I want really. 





Watchmaker Wizard
2404 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 57

Subscriber

  Reply # 963205 8-Jan-2014 12:50 Send private message

I wouldn't waste money on an SSD unless you are;

a) Frequently rebooting
b) Opening/closing largeish apps frequently
c) Running an app that requires a lot of disk access

The size\cost ratio isn't really worth it yet IMHO, especially as you can get a 1TB HDD for <$100 now.

The DDR2 RAM is getting a bit rare so isn't all that cheap, looking at around $140ish for 2x 2GB modules, not often you'd need more than 4GB I'd imagine.

The E7300 should be fine unless you're doing something processor intensive, it's not that old.

~$50-$60 will get you a reasonable graphics card, e.g. http://www.ascent.co.nz/productspecification.aspx?ItemID=408563 - VGA, HDMI and DVI. Just use an HDMI->DVI adapter to get 2 DVI's then you have the HDMI output if you want it later.

You might want to check the wattage of the power supply if you start adding too much in.

$300 will get you a 1TB drive, 4GB RAM and a reasonable graphics card. Beyond that you're getting into new motherboard territory.






658 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 14

Subscriber

  Reply # 963287 8-Jan-2014 14:27 Send private message

That's really interesting, I never thought the graphics card would be so high on the list....and I hadn't thought of getting a better pci-e card to run all three. I have one PCI-E HD3450 and another generic PCI card (which is the poor one) so replacing the 3450 would make sense.

I currently have 4 x 1GB sticks and found the ram relatively expensive. I might see what it would cost to sell those 4 and buy 4x2GB instead.

I definitely don't need the disk space (and have bigger spares if I do) so can save money by not buying an HD.

I wonder if there is an earlier generation of i5 worth looking at ?






X-Case Q-Box | Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H 780G with Onboard ATI HD3200 | AMD Phenom X4 9500 CPU | Corsair 2GB DDR2-800 x 2 | WD Caviar 1TB HDD x 2 | HVR-4000 with MCE Remote | Win 7 Home Premium | Mediaportal 1.4.0 | CoreAVC2.0 | Samsung UN32B6000 32" LED | Sony STR-K660P Receiver

7709 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 290

Trusted
Subscriber

  Reply # 963295 8-Jan-2014 14:37 Send private message

stevenz: I wouldn't waste money on an SSD unless you are;

a) Frequently rebooting
b) Opening/closing largeish apps frequently
c) Running an app that requires a lot of disk access

The size\cost ratio isn't really worth it yet IMHO, especially as you can get a 1TB HDD for <$100 now.



/disagree

HDD to SSD is the typically the biggest noticeable upgrade you can do to an older PC.

Size isn't a big factor for an OS/general disk and you can keep your HDD for large archive data or use an external.

The cost/performance is worth it, has been for ages.

726 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 135


  Reply # 969807 20-Jan-2014 04:06 Send private message

Ragnor:
stevenz: I wouldn't waste money on an SSD unless you are;

a) Frequently rebooting
b) Opening/closing largeish apps frequently
c) Running an app that requires a lot of disk access

The size\cost ratio isn't really worth it yet IMHO, especially as you can get a 1TB HDD for <$100 now.



/disagree

HDD to SSD is the typically the biggest noticeable upgrade you can do to an older PC.

Size isn't a big factor for an OS/general disk and you can keep your HDD for large archive data or use an external.

The cost/performance is worth it, has been for ages.


Agreed!

Just ripped the 750GB had out my new laptop and dropped in a $100 120GB SSD as my last upgrade to my older desktop (6 months ago) was an SSD and I quickly decided I'd never use a moving disk as primary drive again!
My 2.5' 2TB USB3 external is only $115 and will easily do for backups and data storage when needed.

SSD is a solid investment you'll never regret! :)




work Work  vs Home: Home 

*Sigh* price of country living I guess ;)

Create new topic




Twitter »
Follow us to receive Twitter updates when new discussions are posted in our forums:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when news items and blogs are posted in our frontpage:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when tech item prices are listed in our price comparison site:




News »

Trending now »
Hot discussions in our forums right now:

Moment of Truth?
Created by BarTender, last reply by gzt on 22-Sep-2014 15:42 (411 replies)
Pages... 26 27 28


GCSB Surveillance Vans?
Created by snowball, last reply by jjnz1 on 22-Sep-2014 21:48 (40 replies)
Pages... 2 3


Geekzone giveaway: ADATA SSD SP610 256GB and ADATA PV110 Power Bank
Created by freitasm, last reply by Elpie on 22-Sep-2014 23:15 (38 replies)
Pages... 2 3


Festival of Democracy
Created by gzt, last reply by sdav on 22-Sep-2014 23:31 (126 replies)
Pages... 7 8 9


Predict E(l)ection 2014 & win
Created by nakedmolerat, last reply by Geektastic on 22-Sep-2014 23:10 (83 replies)
Pages... 4 5 6


Electrical cable recall
Created by freitasm, last reply by richms on 22-Sep-2014 19:08 (17 replies)
Pages... 2


TV for under $1000?
Created by TeaLeaf, last reply by richms on 22-Sep-2014 20:46 (16 replies)
Pages... 2


IOS8 - Network Load
Created by FireEngine, last reply by raytaylor on 20-Sep-2014 16:55 (45 replies)
Pages... 2 3



Geekzone Live »
Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.

Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.

Alternatively, you can receive a daily email with Geekzone updates.